On the face of it, running three miles is nothing special. What makes it special, however, is when you run three miles every day for, say twenty years.
There was a famous author who was asked about his daily routine. He said he woke at 5 am every day and wrote 500 words, which took him an average of about three hours. Barring his famous vacations and fishing excursions, he did this every day, every weekend, on holidays and even on his birthday. That author was Ernest Hemingway, considered one of the most prolific writers of all time. His books are legendary: Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms, A Moveable Feast, The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls are perennial classics that fill libraries and bookcases around the world.
His three hour a day writing habit doesn’t seem that extraordinary. In fact, many reading this probably work far more than three hours a day. Yet, that one small daily habit, performed relentlessly over the course of Hemingway’s lifetime transformed him from ordinary to extraordinary.
That is the power of habits. Just one good habit can transform your life. It can take you from ordinary to extraordinary. And the beauty of habits is that they are not work. They do not require some exceptional discipline or unimaginable willpower to force their engagement. Because they’re habits, you just do them, without thought, every day.
Success is a process. And by developing a few good habits, it’s a process that doesn’t have to be excruciatingly hard. Habits put success on autopilot. They make success easy.